Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Misbehaviour in Jordanian Secondary Schools

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Misbehaviour in Jordanian Secondary Schools

Article excerpt

Abstract

The main goal of the current study is to explore the demographic variables that are related to student misbehaviour in Jordanian high schools in the Governorate of Jarash using a survey research design. The level of student misbehaviour is measured by a questionnaire consisting of 30 items distributed over the three categories disobedience, classroom disruption and vandalising school property. The results of the present study show that student misbehaviour differs significantly in respect to the students' academic achievement and the parents' level of education. However, student misbehaviour does not differ significantly according to the students' monthly family income. The findings of the study has viable implications for future school reforms and includes recommendations to improve the role of the family and the school in modern secondary education.

Keywords: misbehaviour, academic achievement, parents level of education, family income

1. Introduction

Student misbehaviour is not an isolated problem only school administrators, teachers and parents have to deal with. Adolescents who have acquired the habit of ignoring rules, challenging authority and giving in to physical aggression are likely to carry these traits into adulthood. Student misbehaviour starts in school but its effects extend into the community at large. As more and more student exhibit disruptive behaviour, so do the rest of their peers feel that it hinders their ability to focus on their studies. In the same manner, teachers feel that student misbehaviour interferes with their ability to teach and contributes to their heightened stress levels (Beaman, Wheldall, & Kemp, 2007) and prompts many of them to quit their teaching profession (Gonzalez, Brown, & Slate, 2008). Educators look at the problem of student misbehaviour focusing on its connection with school dropout rates on the rise. The lack of student discipline has come to be regarded an important predictor of dropping out of school (Gutierrez & Shoemaker, 2008).

Toby (1998) found that U.S. students who commit acts of misbehaviour commit them on a daily basis. Finn, Fish, & Scott (2008) have proven that student misbehaviour is related to low academic achievement and dropping out of school. Student misbehaviour does not only hinder the perpetrators from learning but prevents their classmates and peers from learning as well. They divert the students' attention, interrupt lessons, waste their teachers' and their own limited time in class, and, most alarmingly, reduces the probability of completing their formal education. Student misbehaviour increases the teachers' stress levels, diverts their attention away from the lesson and thus adversely affects the quality of teaching and learning. Ultimately, it interferes with academic achievement and success. Misbehaviour also creates an atmosphere of discomfort, insecurity and fear at school which is experienced by the students and teachers alike, and school administrators are forced to spend a high amount of time dealing with discipline problems (Gaustad, 1992 ; Owaidat & Hamdi, 1997) instead of appraisal and motivation (Todras, 2007). Not surprisingly, sorting out discipline problems seems to be the greatest challenge teachers and school administrators have to face on a frequent basis (Alia, 2001).

Finn et al. (2008) asserted that during adolescence most of the negative behavioural traits related to inappropriate behaviour are acquired. Jenkins(1997) observed that such disruptive behaviour translated into students hitting other students, damaging school property, disrupting class, not doing homework and not paying attention, the most frequent and common forms of school misconduct.

The body of existing research suggests that the increase in disruptive classroom behaviour is associated with higher dropout rates (Goyette, Dore, & Dion, 2000), academic failure, substance abuse as well as poverty and unemployment in adulthood. …

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